4012 E. 8th Ave.
Last semester I was adjusting to being back in school and being away from my beloved. I'm using that as my excuse as to why there is only one review of Denver breakfast places in the last four months. Working your butt off during school takes time, as does pining away for your love. I've pledged that this semester will be different and more positive. And what is more positive and uplifting than two eggs over easy, sausage, potatoes, and toast? Not much.
I decided to invite all of my classmates to become part of the Denver Breakfast Club, as they are my Denver "family". Yesterday morning. Before class. This required that I do research, find a place, figure out where it is, and email my classmates in the 8 minutes I had before class. This required massive internet shortcuts, e.g. Citysearch. I have mixed feelings about Citysearch. It can be a really useful site, but I somehow feel dirty using it. It feels like the kind of website that suburbanites go to find out what is good. I'm afraid that someone will discover that I use Citysearch and demand that I return my "cool kid" ID card (did I ever even have a "cool kid" ID card? Debatable). Nevertheless there is something to be said for the convenience factor, and I didn't have a lot of time.
I quickly settled on Annie's Cafe, I'm a sucker for Retro Diners. Three of my classmates accepted my invtitation, and with the addition of Mel's fiance Andrew, five of us assembeld at Annie's this morning. Five people is a good number (not too big, not too small...juuuuuust right) and it actually felt like a breakfast club meeting. And a very amiable group we were. It was strange to have everyone go around and order something off the menu. There were no special requests or anything.
The first thing that strikes you about Annie's is the cool factor. They are a retro 50's diner in the good sort of way. Not in the trashy Johnny Rocket's sort of way. They've got cool movie posters on the wall, old(e) time advertisements, random toys and antiques, and best of all, a bizarre garland-like string of old-school metal lunch boxes around the restaurant. That is serious awesomeness.
Annie's has everything one would expect from a Diner-style breakfast menu. And then some. How many places do you know of that offer three different types of breakfast burrito? Annie's does, which impressed me greatly. It impressed me so much that I didn't even order the breakfast burrito (intimidated?). Maybe I'm saving it for when Fern comes to visit.
I ordered two eggs over easy, sausage (patties yes!), potatoes, and wheat toast. It was a solid breakfast. The eggs were cooked perfectly, the sausage patties tremendous, and in a positive twist, they did not butter the toast for you. This meant I didn't have toast that felt like it was submerged in molten butter right before being served. Unfortunately the potatoes were terrible. They were the kind of potatoes where they can't decide if they want to make American fries or hash browns, and instead end up somewhere in the middle. There are some intact pieces of potato, some crispy hash brown parts, and then a lot of amorphous potato-like narf. Annie's does get major plus points for putting a jar of Jiff peanut butter on the table. This excited me so much that I altered my approach to ensure that I had one slice of toast left over so I could end my meal with half of a toasted PB&J. You can't beat that.
Before I get to the grades, I must discuss the variety of people's breakfast eating approaches. I am continually amazed at the level of diversity there is to the way one eat eggs, meat, potatoes, and toast. You probably aren't surprised, but I myself have two approaches to eating the standard American breakfast. I have one approach in restaurants and a separate technique for when I am in the privacy of my own home (don't ask). My restaurant approach is to start by creating a hole in my egg yolks. I then use the corner of my toast to dip and eat my yolks. Once I've exhausted the yolk, I eat the remainder of my egg with my meat, and then finish with the potatoes. I know that Perley likes to mash up his eggs and hashbrowns into one big, gloppy mess. Today, I discovered yet another approach. Mel and Andrew used the same technique: they recieved their food and promptly began to mix up their eggs, potatoes, meat, AND toast into one cohesive mass. I had never seen that before and was impressed. Good thing I celebrate diversity.
On to the grades:
Beau-standard breakfast-B- (bad potatoes, surprisingly good coffee though)
Janine-scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes,toast-B-
Cathy-tamales and eggs-A- (prone to hyperbole, Cathy declared Tamales and Eggs to be the greatest breakfast invention in the history of mankind)
Andrew-standard breakfast-A- (half grade deduction for the lack of water refills)
I'd definitely go back to Annie's and believe that my fellow club member would agree. No place is perfect, but Annie's is darn good. If nothing else, today proved that a Colts fan (Andrew) and a Pats fan (Cathy) could sit down and be nice to each over the course of a meal. At least on a day that they did not face each other. I may be telling a different story next week.